The Avengers (assemble in my movie theater)

On this past Friday night, a friend of mine and I went to see The Avengers, which was an extremely good decision. Now, I have a few confessions to make, so let’s start at the very beginning (yes, this is going to be a post of lists … I’m not sorry).

  1. Comics: I don’t really read them. Yes, I do enjoy the occasional graphic novel (thanks to my parents introducing my sister and I to Maus) and there have been several that I’ve really liked (Watchmen is definitely not one of them, before you ask). But I’m usually pretty picky. Either the story has to be super good (see: Persepolis and Kim Dong Hwa’s Color of Earth series, along with a few others) or it has to be, um, shiny (aka Sandman (sort of) and Marvel 1602) — and sometimes even the combination of both (Joe Hill’s Locke & Key series, which is truly perfection in graphic novel format). I’ve also been known to dabble in manga (I enjoy Prince of Tennis and I’m attempting to get into Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi, which you may or may not want to google). But, honestly, the only comic-comics I read regularly were a brief phase of reading Robin (as in Batman’s sidekick) comics. Marvel’s Avengers series wasn’t even on my radar, much less something I was interested in. I’m not really one for lots of super heroes (I’m picky, sadly or something) and, honestly, trying to play catch up with all of these different characters isn’t something I’m interested in. So, you know, that’s one strike against me.
  2. I used to hate RDJ. Seriously. In fact, when he made his “comeback” with Iron Man, I totally refused to see it in the theater. I made fun of anyone who went to see it and loved it … um, and then someone convinced me to watch it on dvd and I did and … well, two strikes against me became one because I totally fell in love (and, uh, I own it. Seriously). I still regret not seeing it in the theater and yes, I saw Iron Man 2 and yes I loved it and yes, I will watch the shit out of Iron Man 3 (and if I hadn’t watched Iron Man, I’m sure I wouldn’t have wanted to see Sherlock Holmes, so there’s that — but that’s neither here nor there). So, no to comics, but yes to RDJ.
  3. Thor. I love Thor (I even have a copy, though it was given to me, so I didn’t actually have to pay for it). I saw Thor with my father (last May, actually). Now, there are two important things about Thor: the first is that every time I see Thor, the man, all I can think of is George Kirk (I love the ’09 Star Trek movie). I know, they look totally different, because Thor is scruffy with long hair and, you know, a god. And George Kirk is, well, not any of those things. The second thing is that the week before my dad and I went to the movies, we watched a bunch of Wallander on dvd. Not the Swedish version, but the Kenneth Branagh version. This is important because the character of Magnus is played by Tom Hiddleston, who I promptly fell in love with. And then we went to see Thor. Where I promptly did the fangirl flip out because OH MY GOD, THAT’S HIDDLESTON. And, well, I’m totally a Loki fangirl (seriously, even though I like it when the good guys win). So, you know. George Kirk and Hiddleston really made that movie great (and Clark Gregg, but I love him because of his character on TWW).
  4. And then, because I had to, my friend (same one who went to The Avengers with me) and I watched Captain America and … honestly? The movie wasn’t that good. And, besides, Chris Evans just doesn’t do it for me. He’s cute, but no. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy Captian America, because I did. It just wasn’t that good (but better than The Green Hornet, which is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in the past 10 years or so, and so if it’s better than GH, then that’s something). But, hey, it was okay and the action was kind of fun.
  5. Before The Avengers came out, I noticed that a lot of people really liked Jeremy Renner. I didn’t understand this, at all. He was just a dude who was in movies I wasn’t going to see (The Hurt Locker and The Town) and then a coworker of mine and I went to see the new MI movie (Ghost Protocol) and I totally got it. You see, it’s really all about Jeremy Renner’s ass. Honestly. You think I’m joking, but I’m not (mostly). I mean, I enjoyed the movie as a whole (shut up, I like Tom Cruise in the MI movies and also, Simon Pegg), but seriously. Have you seen Renner’s ass? Because, damn.

Which brings us to Friday night. I was going to The Avengers for two main reasons: Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Renner’s ass. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough of Renner’s ass, but that’s okay because I watched Ghost Protocol on Saturday night. But there was a lot of Hiddleston and he totally didn’t disappoint. But even more awesome was the actual movie itself. Now, I don’t like Joss Wheadon or his shows (I have liked them, in the past, but they are far too problematic for me), so I wasn’t really sure what to think, because you know, Joss. BUT. Oh my god, y’all. It was so great! It was hilarious and kind of sad at one point, but it was also super well filmed and kind of surprisingly well acted. And also, I totally liked the cast. I mean, they had chemistry — we’re talking Ocean’s 11White Collar, early season AliasLeverage, and so on chemistry. Even when they weren’t supposed to be “getting along” they worked so well together.

Which is all to say, you should see all those other movies first, but you don’t have to because the movie does a good job standing on it’s own. My two complaints are the fact that there are only two women who are main(ish) characters (they both kick ass, but still, only two) and the fact that there was so much laughter that I couldn’t hear a lot of the dialogue after funny lines. Otherwise, it was pretty much the best (proper) super hero movie I’ve see recently — and certainly the best one with a group.

Tl;dr version: Go see The Avengers, it’s awesome. And also, Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Renner’s ass.

PS: I plan to see this movie at least once more. In the theater. At least once more. #justsaying

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goodreads strikes back or sarah’s return to goodreads

I maintain a couple of accounts on LibraryThing (which is the platform I actually prefer) and you can find an outdated (and sorely in need of updating) list of books which I own (this is also where the idea for A Clockwork Sub came from). I use LT for my personal list of every book I’ve read since 2006, along with reviews, starting in 2007. I will not be sharing that information, sorry people (not that I’m really sorry), but what I am doing is updating my (brand spanking new) Goodreads account (and you can see a list of the books I’m currently reading in the sidebar to your left). I left Goodreads when I decided that my previous internet ID that was related to my profession was kind of lame (I deleted almost everything, there’s still an LJ hanging around which I might change the username one day.

Anyway, back to the point. This whole transferring books from LT to Goodreads is a pain. Seriously. I have 800+ books over there and I refuse to use their export thing, because that ends up creating more work than I care to think about it (I’ve done it several times in the past and it’s nothing but a mess. Sorry, Goodreads, you’ll never be my number one choice). So I’m having to go year by year and title by title. I finished ’06 and ’07, but I’m going to probably need a month to recover before I start on the rest of them. After all, starting it ’08, I read 140+ books each year (and I’m heading that direction in 2012, too, as I’ve already read 50 books and it’s only May). Unlike over on LT, I don’t plan on reviewing the books I’ve already read, just the ones I’m going to be finishing for the rest of the year.

I guess this plays into the fact that I love making/maintaining/using lists. Goodreads isn’t my preferred format, but I know plenty of people (including a few of the people I’m closest to) who use Goodreads religiously (my sister, on the other hand, uses LT and she’s the reason I’m a loyal LT user). It’s just shame that there isn’t something like this for movies/tv shows.

Which is why, next up, I’ll probably talk about some of the movies I’ve watched recently (aka in the past and coming few days). Or I’ll talk about all those kdramas I love so much.

does this make me a bad person or a good librarian?

While on lunch break at work (in our muggy and hot library, damn you, a/c), I was checking greader and discovered that Adam Yauch (of the Beastie Boys) had died. My first thought was about how shitty it is to die of cancer and how young he was (47). But my second thought, and the reason behind this post, was something along the lines of ‘oh, man, I get to do a display!’ Which makes me feel kind of gross, in a way, but it’s something I do often (displays when famous or relatively famous people die). For example, in the past month I did displays for Mike Wallace and Dick Clark.

What I can’t decide is if this is a kind of morbid thing to do (and if so, I’m totally blaming my undergrad Religious Studies professor who had a morbid sense of humor and taught our class about the end of the world — seriously) or if I just love putting up displays. I know what you’re thinking and I know this whole debate is ridiculous. But I have to confess to being a tiny bit excited when someone famous dies — because I can do a display. It’s not like I want them to die — but I sort of take advantage of it — though granted I’m doing it to get people to check out books/music/movies/etc.

And that brings me to the topic of displays. I don’t have any pictures handy, but usually my displays consist of a plastic stand with a flyer (8.5×11) that I made (usually color, but not always) and, in the case of a person’s death, biographical information from Biography In Context (which one of my libraries* subscribes to) as well as any obituary information I can print off the internet (usually from the New York Times and the Guardian). Alongside the papers and sign, there are books and media (in the case of Adam Yauch, our collection of Beastie Boy** cds is included, as well as a book on the Beastie Boys). For both Dick Clark and Mike Wallace, it was just books, biographical information and obits.

One of the reasons I love doing this is because I really love doing displays. I know a lot of people don’t understand what’s so great about them, but there’s something weirdly pleasing about researching a topic or a person and gathering a bunch of info. Maybe, at heart, I’m more of a research librarian, but working in a public library sometimes lets me do a little of both. Displays are satisfying to create, to see and curate. But what makes them even better is when the books get checked out (our Titanic display, complete with a poster of Leo & Kate and free gold 3D glasses (courtesy of the studio re-releasing of the film) was a huge hit). Of course, it’s even better when a staff member or a patron tells me how much they like my displays.

I guess what I’ve come to realize, while writing this entry (and thanks to an email from a good friend/librarian) is that it’s probably pretty normal and thoughtful. It’s less morbid than celebratory and in the end, isn’t that what this displays are about? And, hey, if it gets people to check shit out from the library, then that’s all the better.

As an aside, my other displays this month (so far!) are for the Kentucky Derby/Horse racing and National Bike Month. See what I mean? I’ll look for any reason to make a display. The more, the better and it seems to be a hit, too.

*I plan to refer to them as library #1 and library #2. Library #1 is located in an urbanish downtown location, along a bus route and within walking distance for many patrons. Library #2 is more rural, though in the same county, and almost all patrons drive to the library. #1 is much more liberal than #2 — but both libraries (as libraries are wont to do) have their own share of drama.

**I was really happy to see that library #1 had four Beastie Boys cds.

Let’s get this party started …

Not that there’s a party to get started, but it’s about time I started blogging about libraries, books, and everything else I adore. I suppose I should do an introductory post first, so I guess this is it. I’m not entirely sure who is going to read this (if anyone at all, to be quite honest, but that’s okay — even if it’s just my sister reading (hi sis!), I’ll survive).

Hello, my name’s Sarah and I’m addicted to the internet. And also to books, Asian pop (mostly mandopop and kdramas at the moment) movies, tv shows and doing my job well. I know, that’s a lot to take in. And yes, before you ask, I am on Facebook (maybe I’ll link you, maybe not). I’m also on tumblr, twitter, LJ and a bunch of other sites — but no, you don’t get that info (unless you know me personally, and even then you are subject to my whims). Eventually there’ll be aclockworksub everywhere. I hope. If I don’t slack off like I totally did the last time.

So what else do you need to know about me? Oh, I don’t know. You can find out more in the about me section, but what you should know is that I like to read. No, scrap that. I love to read. That’s not, of course, why I became a librarian — but it’s definitely something that’s really helpful when you’re a librarian. One of my favorite things about being a librarian (teen and adult) is reader’s advisory. If you’re new to libraries, that means I get to help you figure out what to read next. And I love it, especially if you’re into or interested in getting into teen/ya books (I firmly believe that adult can and should read the shit out of YA — yes, the books are that good).

In my free time I watch a lot of TV (thank you Netflix and DramaFever), but I also watch some movies. I’m really lucky because I have three friends (two in the library world) who love to go see movies with me. Which explains how someone who doesn’t like the Twilight series has seen all the movies. Seriously. I have. I’ll write about that someday, too. I’ve also seen loads of bad stuff (seriously, who thought that Red Riding Hood was a good idea?), but it’s fun.

So, what’s the point of this blog? To write about shit. Lots of shit. YA books, bad movies and all sorts of stuff I love (and hate). Why? Because it’s time I did it again. Will I be able to keep it up? Probably not. But, hey, why the hell not?